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Harvey Literary Agency / Book Improve (Bonnie Harvey)

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Editing for authors: because every writer needs a good editor.

Stacia Kane

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Someone I know knows someone who apparently queried this agent, and got in return a letter telling her that the "agent" in question wouldn't represent a ms she hadn't edited. For a fee. And that *all* agents require paid edits before agreeing to rep a ms.

http://www.bookimprove.com/


One look at this site and red flags go up all over the place. There are grammatical errors; she claims to "Agent Books" and "Writ[e] Other People's[sic] Stories."

She charges a $185 "Manuscript Evaluation Fee" and, in the column devoted to her "Agency," invites prospective clients to call her up to discuss "your project and terms of payment."

She claims to have herself written twenty-two published books. This appears to be true, but the books are historical biographies written for children, published by a very small specialty press whose website I was unable to evaluate because apparently I am Not Authorized to view it. I have also found a couple of credits for her with Christian publishers like Barbour, which also appear to be biographies; in other words, non-fiction.

But writing a few nno-fiction books for small presses does not in any way qualify someone to be a literary agent for either non-fic or fiction. There is not a shred of evidence that this woman is capable of selling a book to a NY publisher. A Google search for her did not turn up a single client or sale, although I did find a claim by her that she "Agents[sic] for 30 clients."

I'm mostly just posting this here *because* there is no info on the woman anywhere, aside from those few publication credits, and something ought to turn up when she is Googled aside from her website and her name on the Guest List at one writer's conference.

Legitimate agents do not charge "Manuscript Evaluation Fees." Legitimate agents do not inist that authors MUST purchase professional edits before they'll agree to represent them (they may recommend editing, but they won't insist that an author pay them to do the editing, presumably before paying for representation). Legitimate agents have sold books to publishers you've heard of.

Just so you know. :)
 
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CaoPaux

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And the few legit agents who offer editing services make of a point of NOT representing books they've edited, to avoid the obvious conflict of interest.

Gah.
 

Gillhoughly

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An update for P&E that includes this info is a good idea at this point.

She sure flings that "doctor" title around.

But a doctorate in English is no qualification for being a literary agent.

Sounds like she's using that title, her links to Christian friendly sites, and far too modest publishing claims to snag "evaluation fees" from the unwary to augment her income.

Yo, Doc--that's not nice!

Yo--smart writers who looked her up--run away. A legit agency site will look more like these:

http://www.knightagency.net/

http://www.maassagency.com/

http://www.spectrumliteraryagency.com/

And they will NOT CHARGE FEES.
 

Maryn

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Nice work. How does "DecemberQuinn, Girl Detective" sound to you?

Maryn, tipping her hat
 

SavedByTheSon

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I actually used Bonnie Harvey and was taken advantage of. She acted very interested in my book…that is until she had received all of the money she could from me. At that point I was told that my book was “inappropriate” and she would have to terminate the agent contract I had signed. Painful, but a good lesson.

God Bless.
 

Stacia Kane

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I actually used Bonnie Harvey and was taken advantage of. She acted very interested in my book…that is until she had received all of the money she could from me. At that point I was told that my book was “inappropriate” and she would have to terminate the agent contract I had signed. Painful, but a good lesson.

God Bless.


I am so sorry to hear this (but even more pleased that I went ahead and started this thread, in hopes others could avoid the same fate). Thanks for adding your experience.

I urge you not to give up. There are plenty of legitimate Christian agents and markets who actually live by the ideals they espouse (I apologize if I'm misreading you, but given your dealings with Harvey, name, and sign-off I'm assuming you write for the Christian market). :)

Here's the blog of a good Christian agent, Rachelle Gardner:

http://cba-ramblings.blogspot.com/

Spend some time there, read her archives. She has a lot of links to Christian author groups and organizations.

Good luck!
 

CaoPaux

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Is/was active on the Florida conference circuit, but I'm not finding any sign of sales.
 

CaoPaux

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Updating URL: http://perfectbook.net/

Since her current focus is editing/writer coach with still no sign of sales, I'm going to refile her under Services.

ETA: Site's gone. No sign of activity elsewhere.
 
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